Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Brittany stole this delightfully rich soup from Ree Drummond - another winner!  I gave it a zesty twist, by combining pepper jack and sharp cheddar cheese (the more pepper jack, the spicier the soup), and serving with hot pepper sauce (Frank's Red Hot is my favorite)!

1 onion diced
1 stick butter
1/3 cup flour
4 cups whole milk
2 cups half and half
4 heads broccoli cut into florets
1 pinch nutmeg
2 cups grated cheese (cheddar, jack, pepper jack, or some combination)
salt to taste
ground pepper
chicken broth if needed to thin

Melt butter in dutch oven and add onions.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, then sprinkle with flour to coat.  Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute, then add the milk and half and half.  Whisk well so no lumps appear.  Add nutmeg, broccoli, salt (start with just a dash) and black pepper.

Cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 20 - 30 minutes or until broccoli is tender (stir often so soup doesn't scorch). Stir in cheese and allow to melt.   Taste and adjust seasonings.

At this point, the soup may be served as is, OR you may use a potato masher to break up larger broccoli chunks OR use an immersion blender to puree the entire soup. Splash in a little chicken broth if soup (in whatever form) needs thinning.

Serve with crusty french bread and a dash of hot pepper sauce!

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